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My work focused for many years on the exploratory process of collaging cut outlines, patterns, and characters from vintage materials, primarily children’s books. What previously concentrated on the aggregate, like the dense construction of a nest, now frays apart and loosens up, revealing and exposing full or near full cutouts, opening up a stronger narrative, clearer associations, humor, play, and movement.
A significant portion of the new body of work returns to this love of repurposing a preexisting image as a starting point. For instance, a vintage German portfolio of lithographs featuring Chinese flower paintings, randomly found in a used bookstore, inspired this new body of work: soft, quiet, delicate, peaceful. Here, my process of dense layering reverts to a single cut element and evolves with the associations created by connecting the background imagery with the layers of cutouts.
I became particularly intrigued by the subtle dichotomies of East/West, old/new, high and low that seemed to emerge. Noticing two opposite, oftentimes disparate images, I realized I could unite them in collage to speak to a coexistence, a foundation of common ground on which to build. In order to further investigate these differences and likenesses, I widened my search for source materials and discovered larger pieces on which to work, such as the vintage Chinese folding screens and scroll. This increased space resulted in vast landscapes unfolding and greater potential for my imaginary storytelling to tangle and unravel. The lively narrative in this new series allows entire worlds of ethos and pathos to ebb and flow, and organically resolve any sustained conflicts.
Keith Maddy holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with distinction from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. Maddy was awarded the 2019 People’s Choice Award, Young Masters Art Prize at Cynthia Corbett Gallery, London; was a 2017 grant recipient from the Artist’s Resource Trust; and received a 2016 Finalist award in Drawing and Printmaking from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. He has been recognized by the International Art Critics Association for the exhibit Surrounded at Brickbottom Gallery in Somerville, MA, in which he both participated and co-curated. He works out of the historic Fenway Studios, has exhibited extensively in the greater Boston area and throughout New England, and is in private collections globally, including Fidelity Investments and MIT. Maddy is represented by Howard Yezerski Gallery in Boston and is published in Making the Cut Vol. 1, The World’s Best Collage Artists by Crooks Creative Publishing, Melbourne, Australia, 2017; kolaj Magazine #17, 2016; 100 Boston Artists by Schiffer Publishing, 2013; Mixed Media Collage by Quarry Books, 2007; and Cloth Paper Scissors, Issue 51, Nov/Dec 2013, by Interweave Press.
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